While traveling, William Colton meets an ex-Union soldier who fought in the war for three years. Before that, he had been a slave. His father had traveled out west to find a better life for them and Lamuel Stove was joining him. But when they arrived in the town, Lamuel made a horrifying discovery: his father had been lynched the night before. Lamuel was filled with grief and mourned deeply for his father. He was told that about ten men came to his father's house, dragged him to town, abused him, then lynched him. They planned on leaving his body hanging in the tree until the following day. Lamuel, filled with grief, now had to decide what he would do about it.
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How come, Mr. Colton, your kind figure an ex-slave is less than a man, but you expect him to have the patience of a god? What's the matter, Mr. Colton, don't it sit so good that there's avengers on both sides?
It don't sit so good, Mr. Stove. And when the morning comes and the dead are cut down and I can't distinguish one side of killers from the other. You're looking for equality, Mr. Stove? Well, you're down in a pit, eye-level with snakes, and that's a pretty low height for a man.